Monthly Archives: February 2010

McGuire sick in prison

The imprisoned former Jesuit priest and sex offender Donald McGuire has leukemia.

A close friend of McGuire dislosed [sic] his diagnosis to the Dallas Blog on Sunday after the priest called his residence on Saturday night. McGuire made the heavily-restricted and closely-monitored one-and-a-half minute phone call from a federal pentientiary [sic] in Springfield, Mo, which can be proven through phone records.

He’s been having a hard time of it.

Sources working closely with McGuire claim that he’s been violently beaten by inmates on numerous occassions [sic] while prison guards watched in amusement.

This “Dallas blog” heard from him before he was incarcerated.

Shortly before McGuire was convicted in the Chicago trial, the defrocked Jesuit spoke to the Dallas Blog on the phone around Christmas time in 2007. He loudly proclaimed his “innocence” in what could best be described as a “contentious” conversation.

Around that same time period, the Dallas Blog received thousands of pages of documents and evidence showing that his accussers [sic] may have perjured themselves on the witness stand in Wisconsin. They had proof that McGuire had proven alibis showing he was elsewhere on some of his so-called nightly escapades. Witnesses inacurately [sic] described his rectrory [sic] rooms and his physical body description when they were first interrogated by investigators in Wisconsin.

Supporters claim he got a raw deal.

Sources from McGuire point their fingers at inadequate legal representation from his defense attorneys, Jerry Boyle and Stephen Komie, in the two trials. They claim they provided sufficient evidence to the lawyers to more rigourously [sic] cross-examine the accusers, but they failed to do so. After reading the entire transcripts of the Wisconsin trial, it appears that McGuire’s team has a legitimate argument.

This version has no legs with mainstreamers.

The McGuire team made attempts to approach media outlets this past year to show some of their evidence, but to no avail as an eeiry [sic] silence ensued. They were informed that editors were no longer interested in the story.

Barbara Blaine of SNAP is not buying it either.

Nonethless, Barbara Blaine, a licensed attorney and founder of SNAP (the Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priets [sic]), continues to focus her attentions on the convicted pedophile priest. A few months ago, she told the Dallas Blog that more accusers alleging sex crimes by McGuire will soon come forward with a “mountain of evidence” that will be difficult to dispute.

Tom McGregor covers the waterfront for The Dallas [TX] Blog, which

is intended to be a news and viewpoints, online newspaper. Our Texas writers will comment on major issues affecting our community, state, nation and world. It is no slam at Dallas’ only daily newspaper to say that competing news sources make for a better community. We will attempt to give our readers insights into various issues and public personalities that you may not see in the pages of the Dallas Morning News.

We will do things differently in more ways than one. First, we intend to invite you to Blog here. Yes, we will have our own reporters and our own commentators who write for Dallas Blog. But, we give you the opportunity to respond to our stories and viewpoints by posting comments on our site.

This piece links to another of his about Jesuit sexual misconduct, reporting allegations about a “Fr. JG,” for The UN Post, and another by a Dallas Blog-connected writer, Tom Pauken II, for Ohmy News, about a lawyer who is appealing McGuire’s 25–year sentence.

Mass transit misunderstanding

What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.

Bruso is a 67 year-old  Vietnam veteran, who apparently has some history of mental illness. While riding the bus in Oakland, he was talking to someone about getting his shoes shined for his mother’s funeral and a black man named Michael—whose last name is unknown—managed to get offended because the words “shoe shine”, “boy”, and “brother” were used in the same sentence. He confronted Bruso, who initially misinterpreted the man as offering to shine his shoes. Michael yelled Why a brotha gotta spit-shine yo’ shoes?” and “Why a white man can’t shine his shoes?”

The rest is on tape.  This blog reports, you decide.

Lock the grid!

You hear a lot about gridlock.  Bad, right? 

In fact, gridlock in Washington is good, since it will stop the assault of big government until the end of the year, when Congress could be overturned by independents, Tea Partiers, Republicans and probably some Democrats, as well.

It gives us (U.S.) time.

Thank you, Larry Kudlow.

Trip down academic lane: Boccacio vs. Chaucer vs. church

At Dominican U in RF last night, Robert Hanning from Columbia U. on confession in the middle ages.  Title led me to expect a socio-cultural explication but he was about close reading of Bocaccio and Chaucer. 

I found the former heavy-handed in his slashing attack on church practice, producing cartoon characters — opera boffo? — none of them credible or noteworthy.  The latter — dear Geoffrey — produced memorable people and made same points with relative understatement.  Subtlety, thy name is not an Italian one.

Considered a q. during post-lecture q&a, where was holy mother church during all this?  Besides indexing Bocaccio.  But H. was not attuned to that, or seemed not to be, or had simply ruled that out a la monograph-style, not to mention journal-ready text with references and attributions right and left.

Appropriate, in that he was keynoting a joint meeting of the Illinois Medieval Assn. and the Midwest body of medievalists, this in DU’s near spanking-new Parmer Hall on west side of burgeoned if not still burgeoning campus. 

From which I exited on Thatcher, by the way, using the easement much disputed by tree-huggers and forest preservers.  The trees did not cry out at me as I hung a left and headed south.

A nice evening, for $10 that included a sip of wine and bite of something beforehand, sitting and watching medievalists chatter in clumps.  A look at the ivory tower, you might say, without prejudice. 

But I had to think about what Ezra Pound would say, he who moved ever in the mainstream of (literary and other) life and preferred jumping to (fascinating, engaging) conclusions.  Takes all kinds.

Opus pokus

Yesterday an editorial about Opus Dei hosting lib RC (“heterodox”) Cokie Roberts at its DC bookstore led to cancellation of said talk-diva.  But old-world defensiveness delayed things:

The Washington Times called the Catholic Information Center on deadline Tuesday seeking comment and asking if the Cokie Roberts event had been cancelled, but we were repeatedly sent to voicemail. Putting someone on the line could have clarified the situation.

That is, Wash Times publicized the much-protested near boo-boo but would not have done so if it only knew.

This long-ago religion reporter had a similar no-talk response from Chi Opus D people in the 70s, when they were much newer kids on the block, followed by letter of correction after the story had run, about what I do not recall.

Look.  Talk and ye shall be saved at least a little embarrassment.  You might be anyhow.  You could make things worse, of course.  This guy in Pittsburgh threatened to sock me over the phone.  Speaking for the diocese. 

Had he succeeded, it would have been a story that wrote itself: easy to write but hard to research.

Bi-Dem, bi-Republican, buy partisan

Reporters were barred from a meeting of the full Illinois senate this morning, so that “bipartisanship” might be achieved, explained Oak Park’s Don Harmon, an assistant senate majority leader and Democratic committeeman.

Harmon said the meeting was closed solely to avoid “political posturing” on the issues of the state’s finances and budget deficit.

“There was virtually no posturing, as we often find in open meetings,” he said, adding: “It remains to be seen what people do in public.”

Those damn open meetings with their posturing.

Punches thrown at Wheeling Jesuit

Black eye here for immediate past acting/interim president at Wheeling Jesuit, or at least a smudge or at least a potential smudge:

[Catherine] Smith claims she discovered federal grant funds were being misused, including the classification of direct and indirect costs, direct payment of salaries without proper time and effort certification and payment of rent for John Davitt McAteer’s personal law office

and that she “promptly” reported what she found to McAteer himself, who was her supervisor, and to others, reports the West Virginia Record, a legal journal.

This would be about the NASA overcharge, announced almost simultaneously with Rev. Julio Giulietti’s firing as president and installation of McAteer as acting/interim president last August.

McAteer [had already] used inappropriate language [says Smith in her “whistleblower” suit] that was verbally abusive, vulgar and sexual in nature.  . . . after [her] report, McAteer responded by creating a hostile work environment,

Smith says. 

Subsequently, she was fired immediately after an employee whom she had “counseled” regarding his “substandard job performance” complained, she further says.

If she can make this stand up in court, it’s potentially a blow to the midsection for McAteer, who relinquished his acting presidency position this month, returning to his former position as University Vice President for Sponsored Programs.

Why clergy sex abuse is news

Sex Offender Information has dozens of news stories offered

as a service to the community to heighten awareness about Sex Offenders.  Hopefully, this site will raise the level of precaution necessary to reduce the number violations to women and children, and likewise, reduce the number of offenders.

Not surprisingly, it picked up the Press TV account of the German Jesuits and abused school boys,

No end to German Jesuit-run school’s sex scandal

as reported here yesterday.

But that was yesterday for the sex-offender site also.  Today, the German Jesuits did not even make its front page, which has 10 items, none of them about German Jesuits or any other priest or Catholic institution.  Nor does its next page or the one after that.

Not all are about pederasty, to be sure, nor is there any specialization in religion-related abuse.  A bunch of sites with clergy abuse as its focus are found by Google, including Bishop Accountability dot org, where veteran religion reporter Kathy Shaw holds forth (and is read by Vatican biggies among others, she has told me).

Another site, with items mostly about Catholic abuse but also an Amish (!) cover-up and an Albany NY rabbi (!!), is Clergy Abuse, reporting findings of the Rick A. Ross Institute, founded by a cult expert.

And Shining light on Baptist clergy sex abuse is self-explanatory.

But emphasis in mainstream media is on Catholics, as we know.  And I can see why, allowing for knee-jerk response by some, it should be.  It’s a matter among other things of high expectations dashed by grim reality.

Catholics (and others) expect more of the Catholic Church, and when they don’t get it, it’s news.  Big news.  That’s a compliment.  If it were not shocking that priests hit on little boys or young men, where would we be?  God help us if we took it for granted, as some were always prepared to do and more are prepared to do the more they read.

The Baptists have it right.  Shining light on such stuff is very important for all concerned.

German Jesuits and abuse of boys

More on the German Jesuit abuse business:

* From Iran-based PressTV,

Germany’s heinous sexual abuse scandal, which has cast shadow over the country’s Jesuit-run institutions, deepens with the likelihood of over 100 victims in one of the schools.

. . . .

Some 50 students have come forward with allegation of abuse, but the Berlin college’s rector said Monday he believed the victims in that school alone would amount to at least 100.

“I believe that it will turn out to be a three-digit number…More and more victims come forward every day,” Klaus Mertes, director of the Canisius Kolleg told the Berliner Zeitung daily in an interview.

* From Irish Times,

The German reports are all the more alarming since, at least initially, they have concerned elite Jesuit boarding schools in Berlin, Hamburg, Bonn and other cities. Last week, Fr Theo Schneider resigned his position as principal of a Jesuit school in Bonn after two former pupils claimed to have been abused at the school.

. . . .

The news magazine Der Spiegel last week reported that, following a survey of Germany’s 27 dioceses, at least 94 priests were suspected of sexual abuse of children.

Jesuit Hans Langendoerfer, secretary of the German bishops conference, told Der Spiegel : “The revelations show a dark side of the church that scares me . . . We expressly want an investigation.”

The reigning pontiff has a chance to do something for his home turf, it would seem.


Trib on Sunday vs. Sun-Times

Chi Trib on Sunday turns its page one over to features.  Eds. want you to cuddle up with them over your coffee and rolls.  Come into our (and maybe your) comfort zone, they say.

So we have this:

Delivering hope

Lauren has a rare genetic disease. On Friday, she welcomed a new sister whose cord blood could cure her. But it isn’t that simple.

I’m sure it isn’t.  Trouble is, I do not know Lauren, nor have I ever heard of her, and cord blood has not been on my radar since our first child’s, first seen in our Oak Park apartment quite some time ago. 

And the five after that maiden voyage into child delivery, especially that of #2, who in our first house preceded the arrival of the tyro M.D. and his more experienced nurse helper.  I left the cord for them to handle, leaving the newcomer on Mama’s front until they arrived minutes later.

Lauren’t is a great feature story.  Women’s page stuff if there still was one?

Nothing like it in early pages of Sun-Times, just one tightly written news story after another, including one about the Maywood public school teachers being asked for their money back after they were systematically overpaid for four years, with its telling quote from one of them, now at a charter school, who

said he wasn’t surprised. “It was the most dysfunctional place I ever worked,” he said.

Go Maywood, I guess.

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